For all the aspects of Control that earned praise from critics and fans, the game's combat is one of the most memorable things about it. Every new psychokinetic technique that Jesse Faden learns, from Launching objects and debris at Hiss minions to Seizing enemies to turn them against each other, adds a compelling new layer to combat. Of course, combat in Control is just as much defined by Jesse's signature armament, the Service Weapon, and its many gun-like forms. Control encourages players to upgrade and master each form of the Service Weapon, which simulate a plethora of gun archetypes, giving players even more great options in battle.
However, in spite of Control's mysterious psychic powers and gun emulations, it's a little lacking in one department: melee combat. Jesse only has a single reliable melee attack, a short-range blast of force, and using it excessively can leave her vulnerable since Control encourages players to always keep moving and stay behind cover. Remedy Entertainment has indicated that it's working on a Control sequel, which sounds like a perfect place to give Jesse more melee attacks. What's more, Jesse already has the perfect way to learn new melee attacks, as the Service Weapon is perfectly capable of turning into whatever blade or bludgeon she needs.
Expanding the Service Weapon's Powers
Throughout Control, the Service Weapon pretty much always appears as a gun; it's a gun in Jesse's hands throughout the game, and whenever Zachariah Trench is seen holding it in flashbacks, it takes a gun form that's unique to Trench. However, Control provides compelling evidence that the Service Weapon is just as useful as a melee weapon. Players gain the Service Weapon's Case File near the start of the game, and the file suggests that the Service Weapon may have been several powerful mythological weapons in the past, including Varunastra, Mjolnir, and Excalibur. If that's the case, then the Service Weapon is more than capable of working as a melee weapon.
Considering how malleable the Service Weapon already is and how many forms it might've had in the past, there's no shortage of melee weapons that it could emulate in Control 2. Jesse might be able to wield a sword or a hammer at times, emulating some of the weapon's most famous forms. Alternatively, the Service weapon might have some smaller, faster forms available, transforming into a dagger or a mace. Adding at least one form like this would go a long way in diversifying Control 2's combat.
A melee form of the Service Weapon could still function a lot like the Service Weapon's gun forms. While melee forms might occupy a third slot of active forms in Jesse's inventory, they could still operate at least partially on an ammo system. Melee forms could replace Jesse's old melee attack with a series of light strikes, but the Service Weapon's melee forms might also have a special attack or ability that consumes ammo just like the ranged forms. Remedy could even go as far as allowing players to equip nothing but melee forms to the Service Weapon, letting players take Jesse into the heat of battle whenever possible.
The Next Steps for Control
Innovations like new Service Weapon forms are crucial in building a proper Control sequel. While it's great to see Remedy expand Control's lore by exploring its ties to the Alan Wake series, it's important that Remedy remembers to find new opportunities in Control's gameplay, too. Whenever a standalone game becomes a franchise, a developer is always wise to examine the first game's weaknesses and shore up those parts of the series. For Control, melee combat definitely falls behind the thrilling gunplay and supernatural powers, but luckily, Remedy has already put a perfect solution in Jesse's hands. Now, it just has to decide what the Service Weapon will turn into next.
Control is available now on PC, PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S.
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